Recent Blog Posts

  • The Tax Strategy of being a Real Estate Professional
    Those that follow my lectures and writings know that I recommend Americans consider buying one rental property a year. It could be full or partial ownership investing with a partner. It could be a single family home, commercial property, VRBO short-term rental or even a group of mobile homes. Why do I say this? Five primary reasons. Steady appreciation over the long-term Tax Deferred growth and capital gain treatment Tax free cash flow Mortgage reduction through renter’s payments Tax write-offs through business expenses and depreciation Now I realize rental property is not a perfect fit for everyone.  There are a lot of variables…your financial strength, credit worthiness, your temperament and time you have to manage property, and of course, it also depends on the season of your life. I encourage all of you to ‘at least’ consider buying one rental this year (in or outside of your retirement account) and ... Read more
  • Putting Your Children on Payroll
    This has to be one of the most under utilized tax strategies by small business owners with families today.  Many don’t realize that paying their children under age 18 is an excellent strategy to minimize their tax liability, not to mention it creates a host of other ancillary benefits. The days of the farm are continuing to disappear all across America and more and more children are leaving the home without work ethic, money management skills and a concept of entrepreneurship.  Moreover, many small business owners forget that some of their most affordable labor is right there in the house with them eating at the dinner table.  Get them involved in the business!! The beauty of the tax benefit is two fold, and something that can’t be over emphasized. Run the numbers and you’ll be amazed. First, when you pay your children under 18, you don’t have to withhold any ... Read more
  • Designing a Powerful Executive Summary for Your Business Plan
    The Executive Summary is the most important section of your Business Plan. It provides a concise overview of the entire plan along with a history of your company. This section tells the reader where your company is and where you want to take it. It’s also the first thing your readers see, therefore it will either grab their interest and make them want to read more or make them want to put it down and forget about it. More than anything else, this section is important because it tells the reader why you think your business idea will be successful! Some suggest the Executive Summary should be the last section you write after you’ve worked out all the details of your plan. The reason is that you will be in a better position to summarize your business concept after researching and writing all of the other sections. It’s interesting that ... Read more
  • LLCs must do Annual Maintenance just like Corporations
    Please forgive me for being so bold, but I am getting tired of people telling me “I don’t have to do annual maintenance for my LLC because it’s not required” and “My one page Articles of Organization from the State is all I need” – Wrong! There are more and more cases of where the Limited Liability Company (LLC) is “pierced” in a lawsuit and the owner’s personal assets are grabbed by a plaintiff. The reason why…owners are not doing their annual maintenance. Now it doesn’t have to be expensive, it can actually be easy.  It can also: Increase your audit protection with the IRS Get you more tax write-offs Help you create a Board of Advisors for support Better build your business and increase sales And of course, give you the asset protection you THINK you have! I have been shouting from the rooftops for years, but it doesn’t ... Read more
  • The Truth about Umbrella Insurance
    First, you need to know I don’t sell insurance. This is important, because 99% of the articles on the web regarding umbrella insurance have some interest in selling it or at least making insurance companies look good. Seriously, I search for almost an hour and couldn’t find ONE article that talked about ANY problems or drawbacks of umbrella insurance (just to see what was already out there). Seriously!? Of course, what should I expect it’s not surprising that EVERY Wall Street owned media machine isn’t going to say anything bad about Umbrella insurance and they’ll do everything they can to dominate Google search. We’ll see if this article makes a dent. Where am I coming from? As an attorney, CPA, and small business advisor I have nothing to financially gain by selling you insurance and telling you what I really think. I’m an advocate for my clients to save money, ... Read more
  • The Truth about Umbrella Insurance
    First, you need to know I don’t sell insurance. This is important, because 99% of the articles on the web regarding umbrella insurance have some interest in selling it or at least making insurance companies look good. Seriously, I search for almost an hour and couldn’t find ONE article that talked about ANY problems or drawbacks of umbrella insurance (just to see what was already out there). Seriously!? Of course, what should I expect it’s not surprising that EVERY Wall Street owned media machine isn’t going to say anything bad about Umbrella insurance and they’ll do everything they can to dominate Google search. We’ll see if this article makes a dent. Where am I coming from? As an attorney, CPA, and small business advisor I have nothing to financially gain by selling you insurance and telling you what I really think. I’m an advocate for my clients to save money, ... Read more
  • The Auto Deduction in 2018 – Mileage or Actual?
    First and foremost, remember the auto deduction isn’t travel, but expenses for your car, truck or SUV. Also, remember this includes ALL your vehicles as long as they have some sort of business use, i.e. an RV, van, delivery truck or motorcycle used in your business (more articles to come)! Next, the law has changed in 2018 – Big time!! Things got a lot better for business owners with cars/autos…if not AT LEAST you have a lot more options. You can actually write-off a vehicle at lot faster and with bigger deductions! Also, if you are also considering an SUV or Truck as your business vehicle, it’s a whole other set of rules or analysis. You NEED to read “The SUV and Truck Deduction in 2018 – An Unexpected Loophole” There are TWO MAIN OPTIONS to write off auto expenses and it all starts here!! Mileage. On ANY of your ... Read more
  • Maximizing the Home Office Deduction
    The Home Office Deduction is still alive and well…don’t let any accountant tell you otherwise. There are several strategies on how to maximize the Home Office Deduction. It is NOT high risk and every good business owners should take advantage of a home office write-off. The Myth Before I get into the requirements and your options for deducting the home office, keep in mind that I’m sick and tired of hearing new clients and students of mine explain that their personal accountant is ‘afraid’ to take this deduction and explain it’s ‘high risk’.  That simply isn’t true.  As long as you are entitled to take it, aren’t too aggressive, and take use the proper method/strategy there is nothing to worry about.  Even if you are audited, you shouldn’t shy away from taking a deduction when you are legally able to do so. FIRST:  The Requirements to Claim the Deduction Before ... Read more
  • Plan Your Travel for a Tax Write-Off
    In my opinion, travel is one of the most underutilized tax deductions by small business owners today!! Making sure our travel has a ‘business purpose’ is critical and a perfect opportunity for business owners for a great tax write-off. In fact, even properly planned holiday travel can potentially generate significant tax deductions while we are visiting family or going to our special/romantic locations around the U.S. and the world. Even if we gain a few pounds, we might shed a few tax dollars. Unlike meals and entertainment, which are limited by 50%, travel expenses are 100% deductible. These include airfare, hotel, rental cars, valet, taxi, trains, tolls, etc. You would be shocked to know how many new clients’ tax returns come across my desk every year with literally zero travel deductions. Consider the 5 following ideas that you might be able to coordinate with or plan ‘in and around’ your ... Read more
  • What is a Registered Agent
    What in the world is a Registered Agent? When you first hear this term, if you are like me, your mind goes straight to Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne, or the ever famous Bond, James Bond. Sadly, I have the cruel task of explaining to clients that, while creating a new entity is pretty cool, you don’t get to join an exclusive interstate spy ring when you choose to incorporate your business. So, if a registered agent isn’t an international man of mystery, what is it? How lawsuits work and the need for a Registered Agent To explain the role and purpose of a Registered Agent (or “R.A.”), we need to first understand how lawsuits work in the United States. To initiate any lawsuit, “process” (papers used to put a Defendant on notice of a pending lawsuit) has to be served on a Defendant personally. A Plaintiff generally will hire the ... Read more
  • When Should You put Your Spouse on Payroll?
    For those that are married, this is a very important question and something we often analyze for clients in our office. In fact, many clients rush to put their spouse on payroll, but for the wrong reasons and it could actually be a costly mistake. Essentially, there are 3 situations when business owners may put their spouse on payroll, rather than just share draws or distributions (typically the best move). Two of these three reasons make sense, and the other is a deceptive ruse I need to warn you about. The first reason to put your spouse on payroll is for the purpose maximizing your spouse’s 401k contribution. Even if your spouse has a 401k through another job, or simply wants to put more into long-term savings than what an IRA may allow, the 401k plan could be the perfect fit.  I actually think this is a great way to ... Read more
  • Closing an Estate: What You Need to Know when a Loved One Passes
    It’s hard enough to deal with the emotional grief when a loved one passes, however the “paperwork” and “red tape” can make a tough situation even worse. But frankly, it doesn’t stop there either does it? If you’re your lucky, your loved one left a detailed Will or Trust, specific instructions, lists, and guidance to help you divide up their assets. If not, the family drama begins and then it can take a lot of medication and therapy to bounce back months or even years later after the experience is over – Seriously. The reality is, the handling of someone’s estate can be extremely difficult and emotionally draining, not to mention time consuming. Here are some important steps, considerations and issues to address when helping administer the estate of a loved one. Gather all the documents. This is definitely one of the most important steps and first on my list. ... Read more
  • Health Care Strategies for Small Business Owners – Update
    As small business owners, we have more options than any other group of Americans to save on health care costs. We ALSO have to keep up on the changes. Every year, another aspect of ‘ObamaCare’ changes or ‘TrumpCare’ changes the rules and options. All I know, is that if one takes the time to learn a little, health care tax planning and well as cost saving strategies can be phenomenal.  It simply takes a little bit of study and consulting with sometimes several different professionals to create the perfect plan for you. Here are some health care updates and strategies to consider that can help you save thousands of dollars when you build your ‘plan of attack’. Some call it ‘KohlerCare’…ok…that’s what I call it- 9 Steps to Save AND Create Wealth through Health Care Planning! 1. Try to avoid any and all taxes under The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) ... Read more
  • Health Care Strategies for Small Business Owners – Update
    As small business owners, we have more options than any other group of Americans to save on health care costs. We ALSO have to keep up with the changes. Every year, another aspect of ‘ObamaCare’ changes or ‘TrumpCare’ changes the rules and options. All I know is that if one takes the time to learn a little, health care tax planning and well as cost-saving strategies can be phenomenal.  It simply takes a little bit of study and consulting with sometimes several different professionals to create the perfect plan for you. Here are some healthcare updates and strategies to consider that can help you save thousands of dollars when you build your ‘plan of attack’. Some call it ‘KohlerCare’…ok…that’s what I call it- 9 Steps to Save AND Create Wealth through Health Care Planning! 1. Try to avoid any and all taxes under The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) if possible.  ... Read more
  • Maximizing LLC Asset Protection and Charging Orders
    LLCs are frequently used to hold assets because of the availability of charging order protection against outside liabilities. Both LLCs and corporations provide asset protection for “inside liabilities,” that is, if a liability is created inside by that entity (e.g. the entity enters into a contract), the corporate veil will generally protect the owners of that entity from being liable for that entity’s debts.  However, if the owners of the entity incur a liability “outside” of the entity (e.g. you get into a car accident having nothing to do with your entity), an LLC would be preferable to a corporation due to the availability of the charging order protection as illustrated below and discussed in this article from Mark Kohler: The charging order laws vary depending on the state and this area is ever changing. At this time, states generally fall into three categories as far as the strength of ... Read more